Believe it or not, I am writing this offline. My Triatel connection out at the summer house in Carnikava has suddenly shifted from satisfactory state-of-the art (300 to 600 kbps) to 1980s nostalgia, when I used to access The Source or Compuserve at 300 baud.
The reason for this is that lots of people got the same idea as I – why not grab a Triatel wireless modem and stay online at the summer place for around LVL 20 a month? So now the base station is overloaded and I get faster connections on GPRS (wish I had an EDGE phone now ☹ or maybe even 3G, but I’m waiting for HDSPA). Triatel promises that it will fix things in around a week, by July 21. This is actually kinda good news for Triatel, since it is good proof of their concept.
The reason I have this connection is that I am testing it for my paper (and sorta this blog, I guess). So as far as contacting customer service, I had to explain that this was a borrowed test unit and I was not your Joe-Blow (or average Janis-the-user) in Latvia, which somewhat tainted my customer relations experiment, calling the Triatel service number. The head of services, also a reader of this blog, got back to me and explained the problem. I assume that the average customer is also treated well. So we shall have to wait for the return of the happy days of near-wireline DSL performance.
Another curious thing I learned was that IZZI, a reseller of Triatel’s EV DO internet services, has pre-empted an idea I was going to put in my Latvian-language review – that of selling a “Summer Internet” package for a reasonable flat rate and a deposit to make sure you don’t let the dog or the crows get the wireless modem. IZZI doesn’t advertise it, preferring to sign on customers for two-year contracts, but if you ask them pretty please, please, please, they will apparently give you a gadget for the summer. Good for them.
However, the whole experience is a reminder that if you want the always-on lifestyle (or rather, the on-whenever and wherever I want it lifestyle), keep some kind of backup, such as GPRS or EDGE. At least you will be able to check your e-mail if there is some kind of megaf**kup of your main system, such as there was with DSL, and as there now is with the overburdening of the Triatel node here in Carnikava.
I am now trying to post this using a deathly slow 16 kbps GPRS connection…EVERYTHING IS FUCKED. If this doesn’t work, I will crawl to the Lattelecom landline and dial up ☹ ☹